Maidenhead v Launceston (away)

Maidenhead v Launceston (away)

It’s another long trip down to the South West for Maids this week, as they travel to newly-promoted Launceston, who earned their place in South West Premier, by way of a play-off win against Old Centralians last term. It’s been a tough start to life back at level 5 for the Cornishmen, who have been on the wrong side of three consecutive heavy losses already, but fresh from a week off, and back at home, playing in front of the Polson Bridge faithful, the Cornish All Blacks will be hopeful of securing their first win.

Player Coach, Ryan Westren has plenty of Championship experience, from time with London Scottish and Cornish Pirates, and the ball-carrying centre will be one to watch for the All Blacks this weekend. There is a first start of the season for full back, Tom Sandercock, who scored a midweek hat trick for the 2nd team, but last year’s player of the season, Reuben Edwards misses out. Upfront, Dan Goldsmith is a former Cornwall under 20s lock, and skipper Lloyd Duke, at openside, brings plenty of experience to the team

Maids know they will have to be much improved from last week, after a dismal, disappointing performance, saw visiting Ivybridge take the spoils, 36-33, of which the less is said the better…

Due to a variety of reasons, there are multiple changes in the Maidenhead squad this week, which gives an opportunity for other squad members to step up, some of whom are returning from injury, and some of who are making welcome returns after periods of absence.

One man making his first appearance for the 1s this season, after returning from injury and impressing for the 2s last week, is Mark Grimshaw, who starts in the number 7 jersey- he kindly agreed to be the feature of this week’s match preview, giving a half-arsed, Dave Cole-esque attempt at answering some questions for us.

 

Name- Mark Grimshaw

Nickname(s)- Grimmy, Grim Dog, Grim Reaper, Grim Shady.

Occupation- Minority Shareholder, and Non-Exec Director of Sandpit Trading Limited.

Position- Flanker

Former clubs- Tonbridge Juddians, University of Surrey

Biggest rugby achievement to date- Playing at Twickenham in the School’s Cup Final.

Favourite food- Big Dom’s microwave enchiladas.

Dream woman/man- Sally Helmet, when she lets her hair down on the bus and wears nothing but a bin bag.

Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why? Leroy Meek- sick of hearing about his ‘stats’, and the time that Zoran said he played ‘alright’ for someone who is usually crap.

What do you want to achieve this season? Stay injury free for the rest of the season and stop Parrott from flossing with my towel after training.

 

There is a warm welcome back to the squad for Jack Hill, who has been out of action since the vicious mop attack from Will Crantadden 18 months ago, and he is joined on the bench by another returnee, Andy Darlington, aka Shandy Lazington, who makes his timely return to the squad, just before he goes off on Netherlands duty again, before then ducking training until after bulking season at Xmas. Young tighthead, Elio Mandozzi keeps his starting berth, after impressing against Ivybridge, and the former Maids Colt has been promised an extended play date on the beach, on the way home from Launceston, should Maids record a victory.

After a spate of cow pats were found on car bonnets at the club this week, Rorie ‘Cow Head’ Hannigan has been summoned to yet another club disciplinary, with Geoff Cowen eagerly awaiting more incriminating Facebook photos of him playing for other clubs, so he can ban him permanently this time, whilst Sandpit CEO Levi Meek is in hot water himself this week, after Deputy Manager Owen Langstone caught him trying to read a book. Rumours of discontent continue to grow, as Myles Williams’ divvy brother Max, has returned to the club, in an attempt to remove Meek from power, and take the much-coveted, ‘golden bucket’.

 

Maids team (caps in brackets):

  1. M Parrott (c) (203)
  2. D Hostetler (5)
  3. E Mandozzi (16)
  4. C Campbell (4)
  5. S Churchyard (99)
  6. A Berry (27)
  7. M Grimshaw (9)
  8. D Cole (46)
  9. J Parkin (5)
  10. D Jones (debut)
  11. S Prince (56)
  12. E Keohane (118)
  13. B Mitchell (2)
  14. N Crossley (27)
  15. W Cowan-Dickie (3)
  16. A Darlington (41)
  17. S Hallett (32)
  18. J Hill (30)

 

Launceston team:

  1. R Bentham
  2. L Bulut
  3. G Thomas
  4. D Goldsmith
  5. T Clarke
  6. H Lightfoot
  7. L Duke
  8. B Rowley
  9. D Mulberry
  10. G Coles
  11. M Kneebone
  12. R Westren
  13. S Crawford
  14. L Ogilvie
  15. T Sandercock
  16. R Cinnamond
  17. R Carpenter
  18. A Lang

 

Come on you Maids!

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Maids v Ivybridge (home)

Maids v Ivybridge (home)

After 2 consecutive BP wins to start the season, Maids travelled to Exmouth in confident mood last weekend, albeit without Exeter Uni matchwinner Ed Keohane, who was unavailable. After a ding-dong battle of a game, that really could have gone either way, eventually the power of the home side front 5 saw them sneak a win, 32-30, with Maids returning with 2 hard-fought losing bonus points, which may yet prove to be pivotal.

It’s another Devon team up next for Maids, as Ivybridge travel to the Braywick Bowl fresh off the back of a demolition job against Launceston last Saturday, which saw them run out 69-14 victors. Over the last 2 seasons, form has followed the home sides, but Maids will be wary of a young, but dangerous visiting team, who very nearly won at Exmouth on the opening day, before conceding a late try, to draw 17-17.

The familiar faces of Matt Finn, Jon Morgan and Jay Geraty (their new skipper this term) make up the front row, and are a formidable scrummaging unit, which Maids need to be wary of, whilst Scoles and Ackerman on the wings, though diminutive in size, have real pace and will enjoy the AGP surface, which they’ll very much be used to, after having one installed last season.

For Maids this week, earning his 4th consecutive start, is new-boy Joe Parkin, who kindly answered a few questions for this weeks’ match preview:

 

Name- Joe Parkin

Nickname(s)- Joey, Joey P, JP, Bolo, Sh!tpants, UK Parkin Control.

Occupation- currently shine Chris Campbell’s shoes in the RAF, bring him coffee, make his bed, rub his back etc. He’s a great boss, and he even let me borrow hismobile to call my Mum the other night, to tell her I scored last week.

Position- Scrum half.

Former clubs- Exmouth, Withycombe.

Biggest rugby achievement to date- Playing at Twickenham in the RFU Senior Vase.

Favourite food- Chicken wings. Chris Campbell often leaves quite a bit on the bones, so I get to finish them off when he’s done.

Dream woman/man- Cher

Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Would have to be Craig Lewis- did you know he was in the Army? Boring Pongo. Having my ear chewed off about that is worse than eating a Spicy Roger, bloody pork chop.

What do you want to achieve this season? I’d like my wrist injury to be severe enough to warrant a sleepover at Sharlene’s house.

 

Elio Mandozzi earns his first start of the season, despite the trouble at Watford ‘Top Golf’ last weekend, which saw the young Molinari hopeful arrested for ‘misuse of course holes’, refusing to remove his beloved Nike football boots, and ‘over-zealous digging’ in the sand bunker, whilst Mexican drug lord, Dan Hostetler starts alongside him at hooker after threatening to kidnap Mobbsy’s family if he didn’t keep his place.

Olly Foxley plays his last game before going away on Scout camp at Longridge for a week, but fellow back 3, Eric Blewitt is away on Polish National duty, which ties in perfectly for supporters Mark Bates and Steve Prince, who can attend the far-right rally on the streets of Warsaw, on Saturday night.

 

Newly-single Rob Muil misses the game- he travels to Shagaluf Magaluf for a lad’s holiday, hoping his ex-Mrs, Charlie doesn’t find out and he is replaced by Will Macaulay, who was recently hospitalised. Tests showed dangerous levels of cat milk in his system, for which Andy Darlington is currently being investigated by the police. Dave Cole, who chose to watch training from his car last night, coming out at 8.30, claiming to have been ‘at work’ plays at 8, whilst there is a welcome return to the squad for Rorie ‘Cow Head’ Hannigan. After being dumped just a month ago, ‘The Cow’ has moved swiftly to find a replacement, and we all look forward to meeting his new squeeze at Braywick tomorrow- the aptly named, Daisy.

 

Maids team (caps in brackets):

  1. M Parrott (c) (202)
  2. D Hostetler (4)
  3. E Mandozzi (15)
  4. C Campbell (3)
  5. S Hallett (31)
  6. A Berry (26)
  7. W Macaulay (56)
  8. D Cole (45)
  9. J Parkin (4)
  10. W Runciman (43)
  11. S Prince (55)
  12. E Keohane (117)
  13. N Crosley (26)
  14. B Mitchell (debut)
  15. O Foxley (17)
  16. S Curran (2)
  17. S Churchyard (98)
  18. R Hannigan (32)

Ivybridge team :

  1. J Morgan
  2. J Geraty (c)
  3. M Finn
  4. R Luscombe
  5. M Gilbury
  6. H Dunn
  7. J Kingscott
  8. A Nortcott
  9. B Watts
  10. M Grieveson
  11. D Ackerman
  12. W Lamont
  13. C Briant
  14. T Scoles
  15. D Lilley
  16. W Vermigle
  17. L Richardson
  18. J Toogood

Maids v Exmouth (away)

Maids v Exmouth (away)

Japan v South Africa, 2015, England v Australia 2003, Maidenhead v Exeter University 2019…

What an unbelievable spectacle the Braywick faithful were treated to last Saturday, down at the Bowl. If Rob Howley were a betting man (Definitely not, RFU Regulation 17), then to be trailing the supremely fit Students team by 10 points, with 8 minutes to go, on an AGP in searing heat, then his money would only have been going one way.

This Maids team are made of strong stuff though, and the early June, preseason start really bore fruit, with a strong rally towards the finish, which saw Ed Keohane squeeze over on the last play to tie the game at 43-43, before wonderfully converting from the touchline, to give Maids a 45-43 win, which they arguably deserved, after outscoring the Students, 7 tries to 4.

It is a quite different test for Mobbsy’s Men this weekend, as they make the long trek down the South West to face Exmouth, who come into the game, off the back of a thumping 76-24 victory at Launceston last Saturday. Winger Matt Ryan will be one to watch, after he scored 6 last weekend from the right wing, and fly half George Meadows successfully scored 8 conversions, so discipline will have to be good. Exmouth also feature former Hornets player-coach, Steve Pape in the 2nd row, and he’ll be a key ball-carrier for the Cockles, whilst Dave Bargent at number 8 is always a tough opponent to play against.

Thankfully, there are minimal changes to the Maids side this week, but Dreamboat, Ed Keohane does miss out, being forced to work. Sadly, Levi Meek refused to swap shifts at Lidl, so Keohane is on trolley-collection duty for the afternoon alongside Myles Williamson who has nearly finished his work placement as part of the Borough’s Care in the Community Outreach Programme.

Keeping his place in the back row, is brother of Rod, cousin of Todd, Uncle of Rob, Ross Muil. He took time out from sniffing his perfect girlfriend, Charlie, to give us his thoughts for this weeks’ Match Preview;

Name- Ross Muil

Nickname(s)- Ross Muil, Rob Muil, Rod Muil, Todd Muil, Rossy, Todd’s brother, Charlie Docker’s ex boyfriend.

Occupation- I’m a scrounging, sponging Student masquerading as a full-time worker in Corporate Finance in an attempt to look cool.

Position- Back row, not 2nd row, and if Zoran Higgins picks me there again, then my pal John Boy Tio will tie him up, stick him in the container, and make him listen to his half-time team talks on repeat.

Former clubs- Leeds and Moortown.

Biggest rugby achievement- Being edged out in the Varsity game at Headingly, 51-5 by Leeds Beckett.

Favourite food- lasagne is nice, so are burgers. You don’t need a plate for burgers, which just gives them the edge over lasagne.

Dream Man/Woman- John Boy Tio can sink 2 litres of cider in 2 minutes, I think that’s pretty dreamy.

Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? It would have to be Levi Meek, he’d be trying to convince me to join his sandpit crew.

What do you want to achieve this season? I’d like to get on Dave Cole’s good side, he’s so nasty to me, ever since I told Mobbs he was ducking the S & C. I would also like to try and put a stop to the fledgling relationship between my perfect ex, Charlie Docker and Myke Parrott. I have seen firsthand their long-standing explicit history on FB Messenger.

Man of the Match last week and former Cockle, Joe Parkin keeps his place at 9 against his former club, but is now under pressure, with Perry Jansen nearing the end of his annual sabbatical, and due for a return within the next 4-6 weeks. Also close to returns after injury, are the Darlington brothers (next 2 weeks), Jaryd Robinson (2 weeks) and Jack Hill (2 weeks), whilst Christoph Bart should be back in November, pending the outcome of his court case, after a man dressed as Zorro was spotted speeding away in Big Dom’s Land Rover Defender, with 5 naked women in the back singing along to Erasure.

Sam Churchyard is back in the first team squad for the first time this season, after he took his idea of baby fancy dress a bit too literally over the last couple of weeks, but Ed Atkins misses out after a theatre trip to Matilda on Tuesday, clearly not realising that new Head Coach, Mobbs is an avid Enid Blyton fan, and could not detest Roald Dahl more. Congratulations must go to our very own Eric Blewitt who has this week been invited to attend the upcoming Polish training camp in Warsaw. His recent performances certainly merit an International call up, and we know the proud Pole will relish pulling on the famous red and white jersey, no doubt with Big Trev in support.

 

Maids team (caps in brackets):

  1. Myke Parrott (c) (201)
  2. Dan Hostetler (3)
  3. Sam Rawsthorne (19)
  4. Chris Campbell (2)
  5. Sam Hallett (30)
  6. Andy Berry (24)
  7. Ross Muil (36)
  8. Dave Cole (44)
  9. Joe Parkin (3)
  10. Will Runciman (42)
  11. Scott Prince (54)
  12. Niall Crossley (25)
  13. Eric Blewitt (20)
  14. Mike Davies (36)
  15. Olly Foxley (16)
  16. Elio Mandozzi (14)
  17. Sam Churchyard (97)
  18. Will Cowan-Dickie (2)

 

Come on you Maids!

Maidenhead v Exeter University

Maidenhead v Exeter University

An outstanding defensive display on the opening game of the season ensured Maids returned from Drybrook with a hard-fought 5 points, which their fantastic rear guard action surely deserved. With only 37% possession and faced with a young, determined Drybrook side, who threw everything at them, for the whole 80 minutes, Maids returned home, having worked very hard for their points.

Drybrook are a top side, and part of a great club- they will bloody many noses this year, especially at home, and will quite comfortably improve upon their 11th placed finish last term.

Onto this week, and Maids return to the Braywick Bowl facing a very different challenge in the form of Exeter University. ‘The Students’ won 54-12 against newly-promoted Launceston last week, and no doubt will relish the fast track that the AGP at Maids offers. Last season was a roller coaster game with Maids eventually edging the contest, 41-35 in a highly-entertaining contest.

Openside flanker, Albert Slade is the younger brother of England and Exeter Chiefs star, Henry Slade, so is one to watch, whilst they have retained the services of the talented fly-half Harry Bazalgette, who featured twice against Maids last season.

Luke Mehson, who scored a hat trick for the Students last week, is unavailable, as he is representing the Chiefs in the Premiership 7s on Friday night, whilst Lasha Jaini, former Georgia under 20s lock, is also absent, after featuring a week ago.

There are minimal changes to the Maids side this week- Will Macaulay has a date at Duck and Waffle, causing Andy Darlington huge headaches, as he wonders who else he can possibly award Puss of the Week to, while Rob Muil switches to number 7 to replace him. Making his first start in nearly a year for Maids after injury, is the shoplifting hippie, Sam Hallett, who kindly lent us some of his time, to feature in this weeks’ match preview…

Name- Sam Hallett

Nicknames- Big Sam, Sally, Schem, Helmet, Sally Helmet, Ham Salad, Karol Poborsky

Position- I’m very versatile, as I can play both 4 and 5- a Coach’s dream!

Former clubs- Abbey RFC, Rams (when they were crap), Terrigle Trojans.

Biggest rugby achievement to date- has to be playing alongside my brother in over 100 senior matches. Can’t beat playing with family! Laurence Leonard taught me that.

Favourite food- without any doubt, sandwiches has to be my favourite food. You can put pretty much anything in them, but they have to be quartered, into triangles or I’m not interested.

Favourite woman/man- Laurence Leonard’s sister Aileen ticks pretty much every box for me, though saying that, Laurence himself is a bit of a dreamboat. Wouldn’t mind being the meat in a Leonard sandwich.

Which Maids teammate would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? After the tirade of verbal abuse I received from Will Runciman for forgetting to bring a water bottle on with his kicking tee last weekend, I certainly don’t think I’ll be sharing any elevators with him in the immediate future!

What do you want to achieve this season? Parrott said we weren’t allowed to say it, but PROMOTION would be nice. Also, I’d like to start up a little outreach project for the beloved sandpit, try and get them out into the community doing bits.

Tom King has somehow managed to find himself a nice girlfriend, so he is enjoying the final few weeks of being in a relationship, before she learns more about him and ends things, whilst fellow back row, Laurence Leonard is also unavailable for the foreseeable future, after his Dad found him trying to spy on his sister Aileen, in the shower. Luckily, the family are yet to find the pictures he has circulated in the player’s Whatsapp group.

Hooker, Mark Darlington remains on the sidelines, still struggling to cope with the mental anguish of his brother leaving for a new job, meaning he has to now tie his own shoelaces and button his own shirt, whilst Ed Keohane this week has spent time with a Shrink, as after 30 years, the angry traits of Big Ted have finally started to shine through, with the front row very much the victims of his vicious, angry outbursts at training. Fortunately, such is the mumbling nature of his headless rants, props Sam Curran and Myke Parrott couldn’t understand what he was trying to say, meaning the damage was minimal. Sam Hallett has offered has kindly stepped up with a remedy to help chill Ed out, post-training…

Big John ‘Tio’, the only 18 year old in Berkshire with a gold tooth continues in the 1st XV squad, whilst fellow Ealing Academy player, Will Cowan-Dickie makes his debut, after impressing for the 2nd XV last week.

Maids team (caps in brackets):

  1. Myke Parrott (c) (200)
  2. Dan Hostetler (2)
  3. Sam Rawsthorne (18)
  4. Chris Campbell (debut)
  5. Sam Hallett (29)
  6. Andy Berry (24)
  7. Rob Muil (36)
  8. Dave Cole (43)
  9. Joe Parkin (2)
  10. Will Runciman (41)
  11. Scott Prince (53)
  12. Ed Keohane (116)
  13. Niall Crossley (24)
  14. George Blewitt (19)
  15. Olly Foxley (15)
  16. Elio Mandozzi (13)
  17. Ed Atkins (6)
  18. Will Cowan-Dickie (debut)

Exeter University team:

  1. Will Cutbill
  2. Jake O’Neil
  3. Matt Johnson
  4. Jamie Yates
  5. Ioan Davies
  6. Paul Schroter
  7. Albert Slade
  8. Tom Addison
  9. Pietro Di Chio
  10. Harry Bazalgette
  11. Tommy Foot
  12. Joe Elderkin
  13. Harry Tarling
  14. Charlie Davies
  15. Toby Williams
  16. Chris Moore
  17. Finlay Richardson
  18. Lewis Bret

Come on you Maids!

Maids v Drybrook (away)

Maids v Drybrook (away)

Well, here we go again! It seems just yesterday, that we made the long trek down to Brixham, for the final game of the 2018/19 campaign, returning victorious after a fine defensive effort in the last 20 minutes awarded us a brilliant victory at the home of the Fishermen.

Much has changed since that day- new players have arrived, some have moved on, we announced an exciting partnership with Ealing Trailfinders, said goodbye to Russell Bolton, and of course, have welcomed new Head Coach, David Mobbs-Smith.

Preseason, under the watchful eye of new S&C Coach, Murray Barratt has been a long brutal slog, starting in the first week of June, and the new, slimmed-down Maids team is now raring to get going. Sadly, with the demise of Birmingham and Solihull Bees, we play this season with a side short, but on the plus side, it means 2 extra weeks of rest, which I’m sure the squad will be most grateful for.

A big welcome goes to league new boys Launceston and Okehampton, whilst Newbury Blues return to this level after relegation 2 seasons ago, to give an extra Berkshire derby to look ahead to, alongside the Bracknell fixture as well.

So, first up for Mobby’s lads, is a tricky journey up to the Mannings, to face Forest of Dean-based side, Drybrook, who enter their second season at this level, following an extremely impressive debut year, last season. Little news has come out of the opposition this preseason, but we know that impressive young Tighthead from last year, Elliott Beattie has relocated back up North, so he will definitely not be present.

Openside flanker, Kyle Frowen was often a thorn in the side last season, and is an expert operator at the breakdown, so the Maids pack will have to be wary of the canny back row, who wins plenty of penalties for his side. Tim Stevenson, player/coach at 10 has a fearsome boot on him, so discipline will have to be on point, whilst imposing 2nd row, Will Greenway, carries hard from the 2nd row, and will look to give his side plenty of front-foot ball.

For Maids, there are debuts for Dan Hostetler (hooker), Sam Curran (tighthead), Sione Funaki (2nd row), Joe Parkin (scrum half) and Charlie Dearman (centre), whilst we welcome back George Blewitt, Olly Foxley, Sam Hallett and Myke Parrott who all suffered severe injuries last season and missed large chunks of the campaign.

Best of luck to all involved, and if you don’t have any plans, get on down to the Mannings to cheer the boys on. Our young, talented 2nd XV make the short trip to Ealing, so go down and support them, if you can’t make it to Gloucestershire.

Maids team (caps in brackets):

  1. Myke Parrott (c) (199)
  2. Dan Hostetler (debut)
  3. Sam Curran (debut)
  4. Sione Funaki (debut)
  5. Ross Muil (35)
  6. Andy Berry (23)
  7. Will Macaulay (55)
  8. Dave Cole (42)
  9. Joe Parkin (debut)
  10. Will Runciman (40)
  11. Scott Prince (52)
  12. Ed Keohane (115)
  13. Niall Crosley (23)
  14. George Blewitt (18)
  15. Olly Foxley (14)
  16. Sam Rawsthorne (17)
  17. Sam Hallett (28)
  18. Charlie Dearman (debut)

Come on you Maids!

Maids agree Ealing Trailfinders Partnership

Maids agree Ealing Trailfinders Partnership

As the season opener draws ever closer, we are thrilled to be able to announce details of our new partnership with Championship high-flyers, Ealing Trailfinders.

Ealing are embarking on an exciting journey to build a World-class academy system, alongside Brunel University, to provide fantastic academic, sporting and life opportunities for young people. Through Academy Manager, Ty Sterry, and Head of Rugby at the Ealing/Brunel University Programme, Gareth Rise, Maidenhead were identified as a club that could help with the development of some of the young scholars from this programme, and we are absolutely delighted that 5 of the lads will be playing at Maidenhead for this coming season.

Making their debuts in Maids colours in the preseason friendly this evening against Barnes, are Charlie Dearman and Sione Funaki, with details of the 3 further additions coming in the next couple of weeks.

Charlie Dearman is a fly half/centre who was with Saracens, up until under 18 level. He has experience playing with Lambs Rugby, and went to school at New Hall School in Chelmsford, Essex. With a touch of Owen Farrell about him, Charlie is a physically-robust young man, with great comms and organisation skills. He will be working particularly closely with Will Greenwood, who had this to say “I’ve been so impressed with Charlie in training already, and from what I’ve seen, I’m convinced he has all the attributes to cut it at the very top level. I am excited about playing a part in this young man’s development, and hopeful I can lend some valuable advice, when required.”

Sione Funaki is a number 8, with some rather famous family members… ‘Tio’ as he is known to us all, is a 138kg wrecking ball, and is able to name Mako and Billy Vunipola as his cousins. Though quiet and shy off the pitch, Tio is not somebody you want rampaging down your channel- the young man can certainly shift!

Tio has previously been part of the Exeter Chiefs Academy and was schooled at Shebbear College, before joining up with Ealing this summer. Head Coach, David Mobbs-Smith had this to say about the young man; “Tio is an awesome physical specimen, and will be a huge weapon for us. In current number 8, Dave Cole, we have a fantastic, skilful mentor ready-made for Tio to learn off. I can’t wait to see him in action!”

Tio and Charlie with Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael Lynagh, before Australia v NZ

Pictured here with Will Greenwood, as he took them for work experience at Sky

Commenting on the exciting new partnership, Chairman, Steve Bough said:

“Our new Club Partnership with Ealing Trailfinders RFC is very exciting on many levels for both Maidenhead RFC and Ealing.  The opportunity for young Ealing academy players to experience senior rugby at a high level within an environment and organisation as well run as Maidenhead can only benefit the Ealing lads and they have already settled down well within our preseason training schedule; we look forward to seeing them run out in Magenta in our preseason games and showing us what they can do.

It also creates a strong link for Maidenhead with a Championship level club both with regards to sharing coaching ideas and experiences and also and offering the potential of an additional opportunity for our younger players to have access to a pathway to senior rugby.”

Charlie and Tio make their debuts for Maids tonight against Barnes, at Chiswick RFC, 8pm kick off.

Come on you Maids!

Mobbsy’s Musings

Mobbsy’s Musings

Hello all, and welcome to the first edition of ‘Mobbsy’s Musings’, my blog on all things Maidenhead RFC.

Firstly, I must start by saying how lucky I feel to be working at this tremendous club. When I first interviewed for the role earlier this year, the words ‘environment’ and ‘culture’ were consistently talked about, as the vital foundations underpinning all that happens at Braywick, and the experiences I have had so far, in such a short space of time, certainly echo those sentiments. A big thank you to all of my fellow coaches, the players and all the support staff at the club who have made me feel so welcome!

As we near the end of the preseason schedule, I was hoping to reflect on our first competitive performance, following a fixture with Beaconsfield, scheduled for last night. Sadly, due to injury and unavailability, they were unable to fulfil the fixture, so we now look ahead to Barnes away, next Friday night. Playing away from home at a side that finished in the top half of National 2 last year will be a great test for the players, and a good barometer moving forward. We conclude our preseason schedule with a home game against CS Rugby from London Premier, on August 31st at Braywick- I hope to see you all there.

I have been thoroughly impressed with the attitude and aptitude of the players so far this preseason- starting in the first week of June was a somewhat daunting prospect for many, but they’ve worked really hard, and I’m confident we will reap the benefits, when we kick off at Drybrook on September 7th. Our new additions to the playing squad have been well documented, but one new addition not mentioned so far, who has made a huge contribution, is new Strength and Conditioning Coach, Murray Barratt. Stepping up from player to coach, can sometimes be a tricky dynamic to overcome, but such is the quality of content that Murray is delivering, I know the lads are delighted to have him in place, and I know they are chuffed with looking that little bit trimmer in their holiday pictures!

Alongside the focus of fitness in preseason, we have spent much of our time looking at how we attack with more structure, and I’m delighted with how our shape is coming along. We’ve got some great playmakers in our side- Will Runciman, Ed Keohane, new signing, Ben Mitchell and also young Duncan Jones have really impressed with their quick adoption of this shape, and I’m confident they can interchange pretty seamlessly now, which is a huge asset to have.

A big attraction of coming to Maidenhead, was the focus on youth at the club, so I’ve been really pleased with the input from our Colts team at training. Under the new look coaching team of Mike Andrew and Allan Greene, I know they are in safe hands, and will continue the excellent work of Gareth Andrews-Jones, who has stepped aside, after many successful years at the helm. I have enjoyed seeing up close, some of our recently graduated Colts- Elio Mandozzi, James Johnstone, Owen Langstone, Drew Prince and Phil Wells amongst others, and I know they will be the core of this club for years to come. Top boys, with bright futures.

So, what can you expect to see from the team next season?

We are going to play fast, attacking rugby, and I believe we will have the fittest team in the league. Zoran Higgins will continue to improve our set piece and breakdown work, whilst Will Greenwood has a hugely talented backline at his disposal, and I know he’s going to have them firing on all cylinders come the season opener. I’m hugely excited for the potential of this group of players, and I cannot wait to get going.

Finally, a huge congratulations to Joe Keohane and Michael Dykes, who are in the England under 18 squad touring South Africa. Leave nothing behind boys, have no regrets, and most importantly, enjoy every second.

Until next time…

Come on you Maids!

Mobbs